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Posted on: June 13, 2018

Fire Restrictions Enacted for Cordillera; Stage 1 Fire Restrictions Enacted in Eagle County

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June 13, 2018
Contact: Cordillera Administration Office | 970-926-1923

In the interest of public health, safety and welfare, Cordillera General Manager Rachel Oys enacts fire restrictions for Cordillera effective immediately. In addition, Eagle County has implemented “Stage 1” fire restrictions that took effect on June 12.

Due to the combination of unusually high temperatures and dry windy conditions there is an increased risk of wildfires throughout the area. The restrictions reduce fire risk during periods of high to extreme fire danger. They will be in place throughout the summer or until conditions warrant revision; property owners will be notified when restrictions are changed or lifted.

Cordillera’s 2014 Amended and Restated Wildfire Mitigation Resolution grants the general manager the authority to issue restrictions that are not dependent on the presence of other fire bans. Eagle County’s Sheriff’s Office and Department of Emergency Management as well as Eagle River Fire Protection District support Cordillera issuing expanded fire restrictions given the upcoming events, seasonal nature of our property owners and guests and topography.

Cordillera’s restrictions include all of Stage 1 restrictions and the following additional closures/restrictions/prohibitions:
•Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fire with solid fuels. This includes charcoal or wood burning grills, barbeques, stoves, pizza ovens, chimineas, sheepherder’s stoves, fire pits, fire rings and fire places. EXCEPTIONS: Gas-fueled fire pits, grills, stoves or lanterns that have shut off valves are permitted only in areas free of flammable vegetation and other flammable materials and must be used in a manner which present no fire danger to the surrounding area. No fire or grill shall be left unattended and shall have an adequate water supply and/or fire extinguisher on site.*
•Smoking outdoors including discarding cigarette butts at any location or from any vehicle is expressly prohibited. EXCEPTIONS: Smoking within an enclosed vehicle, building or trailer.
•Operating or using any internal combustion engine (e.g., generator, ATV) without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order. The off-road use of a motorized vehicle in an area which presents the possibility of sparks or exhaust heat igniting surrounding flammable vegetation.**
•Using floating sky lanterns, fire balloons, acetylene balloons or tiki torches.
•Using explosives including but is not limited to fireworks, sparklers, fuses or blasting caps, rockets, exploding targets, tracers or other incendiaries.
•Operating a chain saw without an approved spark arresting device with a fire extinguisher and shovel available for use.
•Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
•Blasting in development areas or construction areas.
Notes:
* Per the 2016 Amended Design Review Guidelines, fire pits using solid fuels, including wood or pellets, are not permitted.
** Per the 2005 ATV Resolution, ATV’s on all District roads are not prohibited except for CPOA and CMD personnel when conducting maintenance operations.

Stage 1 Restrictions
The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office will be enforcing the following temporary restrictions in all private lands in unincorporated areas of Eagle County:
●Campfires are only allowed within designated fire grates in developed campgrounds (i.e., a metal, in-ground containment structure -- fire pans and rock campfire rings are not acceptable).
●No fires of any type, including charcoal, outside of developed areas.
●No smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or in a barren area free of vegetation.
●No use of explosive materials, including explosive targets.
●No welding or operation of an acetylene or other similar torch with open flame, or any other spark producing device, except from an area that has been cleared of vegetation.
●No operation of any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed and in working order.

The Bureau of Land Management and The U.S. Forest Service White River National Forest will be implementing the same restrictions as Eagle County at 12:01 a.m. Friday, June 15, 2018. Fireworks are always prohibited on BLM, National Forest and National Park Service lands. Fire restrictions on these lands will be in place until further notice.

Violation of federal fire restrictions is punishable by a fine of not more than $100,000 or imprisonment for not more than 12 months or both. Those found responsible for starting wildfires will also face restitution costs of suppressing the fire.

For more information about fire restrictions in the state, log on to: https://gacc.nifc.gov/rmcc/dispatch_centers/r2gjc/fireinfo_restrictions/index.html. You can also visit http://www.coemergency.com/p/fire-bans-danger.html for fire information across the state.

Ready Set Go
The majority of human-caused fires in the Rocky Mountain Region are preventable with simple actions. Please lend your voice to this effort. In dry conditions, one less spark means one less fire.

Cordillera is classified as a Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) area, and the homes in the community are at risk in any wildfire event. Property owners are encouraged to take personal responsibility and prepare before a wildland fire occurs.

Property owners can contact Bill Wentworth, healthy forests coordinator, at bwentworth@cordillerametro.org to learn about wildfire mitigation on their property and ideas for creating a “defensible space” around the home that can increase the chances surviving a wildfire. Create defensible space of at least 30 feet by doing the following:
●Trimming branches
●Thinning tree and brush cover
●Removing dead limbs and other litter
●Maintaining an irrigated greenbelt
●Mowing dry grasses and weeds
●Cleaning your roof and gutters
●Pruning branches to 10 feet above the ground

Cordillera Property Owners Association and Cordillera Metro District in cooperation with Eagle River Fire Protection District and Eagle County Wildfire Mitigation Coordinator will be hosting a READY, SET, GO meeting July 9 at 4 p.m. at the Cordillera Café. Residents can learn how to be READY with preparedness understanding, be SET with situational awareness when fire threatens, and to GO, acting early when a fire starts.

Emergency Information: ECAlert
Property owners and guests are encouraged to stay aware of the latest emergency notifications, including evacuations, by signing up for EC Alert at www.ecalert.org.
If you are warned to evacuate remember to:
1.Follow the instructions and advice of emergency responders. If you are told to evacuate, do so promptly.
2.If you are instructed to follow a certain route, do not go elsewhere. If certain travel routes are specified or recommended, use those routes rather than trying to find shortcuts, so you do not become trapped.  
3.If you are instructed to go to a certain location, go there. Check-in points ensure people are accounted for and safe.
4.If you are advised to shut off your water, gas or electric services before leaving home, do so. Also, find out where emergency shelters are located, in case you need to use them.

Contact the Cordillera Administration Office at 970-926-1923 with questions.




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